Morgan’s All-Electrical 3-Wheeler Is a Light-weight Roadster That Stays True to Its British Roots
Even boutique automakers know that the future is electric.
U.K.-based sports car maker Morgan Motor Company has just unveiled a three-wheeled EV concept called the XP-1. The experimental prototype—hence the name—may have an electric powertrain, but still manages to live up to the brand’s core principles.
Unlike so many of the outrageous battery-powered concepts we’ve seen over the last few years, the XP-1 looks exactly like what you’d expect one of Morgan’s sports cars to look. In fact, except for some prototype-specific graphics, it’d be impossible to tell it apart from the brand’s most popular model, the Super 3.
The design may have been left untouched, but the vehicle’s internal hardware has been completely reworked. The Super 3’s Ford-sourced inline-three has been ripped out and replaced with an electric powertrain that is also the first developed directly by Morgan, according to a press release. The setup includes an electric motor situated inside the transmission tunnel and a 33-kWh battery located under the hood, where the ICE mill would normally be.
The powertrain will produce 134 hp, all of which is routed to its rear wheel. That may not sound like much, but it actually produces 17 horses more than the Super 3’s gas engine. The EV has a claimed range of 150 miles as well. Again, that may not sound like much, especially with 300 miles becoming increasingly common in the premium EV sector, but it’s more than enough for a day of driving. It’s unlikely that anyone would plan to take this or any Morgan on a long road trip. If you do need some juice, the battery will support both fast and bidirectional charging.
One of the biggest roadblocks for high-performance EVs up until now has been weight. It’s hard to build a lightweight sports or supercar when you must include a heavy battery pack to keep everything running. This doesn’t appear to have been an issue for Morgan, though. At 1,543 pounds, the XP-1 is heavier than the Super 3, but only by around 130 pounds, according to Motor1.com. To compensate for the added weight, tweaks were made to the vehicle’s aerodynamics to reduce its drag coefficient by 33 percent.
As of now, the XP-1 is just a prototype, but Morgan’s announcement does say the car will undergo comprehensive testing over the next 18 to 24 months. If the car is deemed production-ready, Morgan CTO Matt Hole told Autocar it will likely cost “just north of Super 3,” which starts at around $54,000. You can sign up now for updates on the car’s development through the automaker’s website.
Source: Robb Report